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The Writing Life of a Great American Spy Novelist by Marilyn Baron

IMG_1172 (2)MarilynBaron

Two weeks ago, I attended an author talk and book signing in Atlanta, for one of my favorite authors, Daniel Silva, #1 New York Times bestselling author, who was talking about and signing his latest (18th) novel, The English Spy. Silva has been called his generation’s finest writer of international intrigue and one of the great American spy novelists ever. He had some interesting things to say about his writing process and his character, Gabriel Allon, an art restorer and an Israeli secret agent, called one of the most intriguing heroes of any thriller series. “Gabriel was supposed to appear in one book only, but it didn’t work out that way,” says Silva, who reported that the second-tier character took over the novel and the story became his after Silva constructed the character’s professional provenance and he turned an Israeli assassin into an Italian art restorer. “The character was born and he talked me into writing the second book,” says Silva, who says he wouldn’t want to be his character. “I don’t want to live his life. I like my life.” But Silva, like most writers, weaves little bits and pieces of himself into every character he creates, whether villain…